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Little crop, big social impacts: how peanuts are intertwined with slavery

Slaves for Peanuts
The Free Press

Peanuts are nutritionally dense, loaded with both protein and fat. And history and slavery, it turns out.

Such a valuable and popular crop made its way to the kitchens of Europe and the rest of the world through the hands of slaves, playing a part in slavery surviving into the 20th century.

Journalist Jori Lewis, who covers agriculture and the environment, unfolds the complicated story in her book Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History.

This work of narrative nonfiction takes readers to Africa and imperial French colonies in search of the true story of a beloved nut, and the hated practices that produced it.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.